Ezhou Airport welcomes inaugural Etihad Cargo flight

Members of Ezhou Airport and Etihad Cargo stand in front of an air cargo freighter.
Photo Credit: Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, successfully operated its inaugural flight to Ezhou Huahu Airport on August 18th. In so doing, Etihad Cargo became the first international airline to operate flights to this remarkable Chinese cargo hub.

With its strategic location and advanced facilities, Ezhou Huahu Airport has emerged as Asia’s pioneering professional cargo airport and the fourth of its kind worldwide.

Ezhou Huahu Airport

Situated in the Hubei Province of China, Ezhou Huahu Airport has transformed into a pivotal node in the global cargo network.

Boasting an expansive 23,000-square-meter cargo terminal along with an extensive 700,000-square-meter freight transit center, the airport is primed to facilitate air trade between China and the rest of the world.

The ambitious plans for Ezhou Huahu Airport encompass the inauguration of ten international cargo routes and an impressive fifty domestic routes by the year 2025.

This visionary approach aligns with the airport’s target of achieving an annual cargo and mail throughput of 2.45 million tonnes, cementing its role as a vital player in the international cargo arena.

Etihad Cargo’s Strategic Expansion

Etihad Cargo’s foray into Ezhou Huahu Airport follows its recent announcement regarding the expansion of the reciprocal block space agreement with SF Airlines.


This strategic partnership paves the way for escalated cargo capacity between China and global destinations via Etihad Cargo’s hub located in Abu Dhabi.

The collaboration has extended access to a multitude of domestic Chinese destinations for Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers, including cities like Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Nanjing.

Importantly, it has also facilitated SF Airlines’ utilization of Etihad Cargo’s extensive global network to bolster its express product offering.

Vision for the Future

Leonard Rodrigues, the Head of Revenue Management, Fleet, and Network at Etihad Cargo, underscores the transformative role of Ezhou Huahu Airport.

This dedicated cargo airport, endowed with robust infrastructure for multiple modes of transportation including railway, waterway, expressway, and air, serves as a pivotal player in China’s connectivity landscape.

Rodrigues also highlights the airline’s commitment to expansion and mutual growth, leveraging the cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities inherent to Ezhou Huahu Airport.

Robert Zhang, the Commercial Director of SF Airlines, congratulates Etihad Cargo on its inaugural flight to Ezhou Huahu Airport.

He emphasizes the central location of the airport in China, positioning it advantageously to connect with major tier-one cities within a mere two-hour flight.

Zhang accentuates the comprehensive range of services available at the airport, including rapid sorting, MRO capabilities, and an international cargo terminal, all of which synergize to support SF Airlines’ domestic and international operations.

Positioning as a Pivotal Hub

Luo Guowei, Party Secretary and Chairman of Hubei International Logistics Airport Co. Ltd., lauds the partnership and collaboration with Etihad Cargo.

The launch of the freighter service between Abu Dhabi and Ezhou not only enhances connectivity along the ‘Belt and Road’ but also positions Ezhou Huahu Airport as a pivotal cargo hub, supporting seamless trade exchange between China and the world.

This vision aligns with the principles of mutual prosperity and enhanced trade along the ‘Belt and Road’, while also advancing the development of the dual hub concept between Ezhou and Abu Dhabi.

The integration of Ezhou Huahu Airport into Etihad Cargo’s expansive network solidifies the carrier’s commitment to the Chinese market.

The establishment of the new freighter service between Abu Dhabi and Ezhou aptly addresses the growing demand for cargo capacity from China.

This strategic move not only consolidates Etihad Cargo’s foothold in the region but also bolsters its reputation as the preferred air cargo partner.

The airline’s dedication to augmenting its network and offering enhanced connectivity between China, the UAE, and global destinations underscores its pivotal role in the evolution of the cargo industry.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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